An evaluation of the University of Washington Quality of Life swallowing domain following oropharyngeal cancer

L Thomas, T M Jones, S Tandon, C Katre, D Lowe, Simon N Rogers

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Oropharyngeal cancer and its treatment have debilitating eVect on swallowing function which can impact on quality of life. The aims of this study were to assess swallowing dysfunction in patients treated for oropharyngeal cancer by both patient and observer assessed tools and to assess the suitability of University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) swallowing domain as a potential screening tool in routine clinic practice. This was a crosssectional study of disease free survivors following radical treatment for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma at a tertiary care centre between 1999 and May 2005. Evaluation included three questionnaires—the M. D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI), the SWALQOL, the University of Washington Quality of Life (UWQOL) and Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). Of 117 patients 77 (66%) participated. On the UW-QOL, 18% could only swallow liquids whilst 11% could not swallow at all. There is a clear demarcation between UWQOL levels and food consistency and texture as measured by the SWALQOL (r = ¡0.86, P < 0.001). There was a graduation in respect to function with correlations of r = 0.61 with overall MDADI and SWALQOL and r = ¡0.45 for FEES. Patients scoring 70 or better in the UW-QOL were notably better in MDADI and the SWALQOL hence a cut oV of below 70 could be regarded as a quick screening tool for swallowing dysfunction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-37
    JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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